Suggests Most in Baghdad
Don't Want Troops to Leave Too Quickly
LESTER, Associated Press Writer
Monday, October 13, 2003
©2003 Associated Press
22:29 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) -- When
Gallup set out recently to poll Baghdad residents, the biggest
surprise may have been the public's reaction to the questioners:
Almost everyone responded to the pollsters' questions, with
some pleading for a chance to give their opinions.
interviews took more than an hour to do, people were extremely
cooperative with open-ended questions," said Richard
Burkholder, director of international polling for Gallup.
"People went on and on."
many of those Iraqis still have sharply mixed feelings about
the U.S. military presence.
Gallup poll found that 71 percent of the capital city's
residents felt U.S. troops should not leave in the next
few months. Just 26 percent felt the troops should leave
a sizable minority felt that circumstances could occur in
which attacks against the troops could be justified. Almost
one in five, 19 percent, said attacks could be justified,
and an additional 17 percent said they could be in some
mixed feelings in Baghdad come at a time when many in the
United States are urging that the troops be brought home
six in 10 in the poll, 58 percent, said that U.S. troops
in Baghdad have behaved fairly well or very well, with one
in 10 saying "very well." Twenty 20 percent said
the troops have behaved fairly badly and 9 percent said
one of the nation's best-known polling operations, hired
more than 40 questioners, mostly Iraqi citizens directed
by survey managers who have helped with other Gallup polling
in Arab countries. Respondents were told the poll was being
done for media both in Iraq and outside their country, but
no mention was made that the American polling firm was running
conduct the poll, Gallup did interviews face-to-face in
people's homes chosen at random from all geographic sectors
of the city, and more than nine in 10 agreed to participate,
at least double the response rate for many U.S. telephone
polls. Pollsters in the United States have an increasingly
difficult time getting cooperation from people called on
is the way we did polling in the United States before telephone
ownership got to the point that we could do reliable phone
surveys," Burkholder said in an interview with The
Associated Press. The poll of 1,178 adults was taken between
Aug. 28 and Sept. 4 and had a margin of error of plus or
minus 3 percentage points.
said Gallup plans to do further polling in Baghdad in coming
months and hopes eventually to expand throughout Iraq. Gallup
plans to release much of the data through its subscription
service, the Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing.
started its operation in Baghdad because it felt Baghdad
would have the lowest security risks after the war, but
that hasn't turned out to be the case, Burkholder said.
Six in 10 Baghdad residents said that within the past four
weeks they had been afraid at times to go outside their
homes during the day.